Tuesday, October 16, 2007

just a thought

This is Vladimir Nabokov's actual typewriter.

He also collected butterflies, and these are his own authentic specimens, displayed in his own house, which is still inhabited by Nabokovs upstairs. I found myself there, having taken a wrong turn.

What meaning have these literary artefacts ?
I could only venerate them as objects in their own right, they seem not to add to my reading of any of his novels.


Sunday, October 14, 2007


Sankt-Peterburg is a constant amazement, inside and out. Much of its beauty only recently re-emerging into public view.

Most of the churches are desanctified, though. There isn't much religion here, but I beleive you can hear mass at St Catherines.

Always a beautiful face everywhere you look, angels on the street and in the air.

and angels buying ballet tickets, with their mothers. How lovely he is. Look at that face, no wonder mothers so love their sons.
I miss mine.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

in which the fish surfaces in the River Neva

By the time I came to the surface, I found myself to be a long, long way from home, the water dark and cold, my scales lost their silver and become shades of black and green.
I shook myself off, and set about adventuring.

I knew where I was immediately.

In the Hermitage, I whiled away six hours, goggling my wide eyes at every turn. I didn't even cover half the collection. I lurked in the lesser visited rooms, and discovered quiet treasures.

Having been thus dazzled, I was given to thinking that had I, once upon a time, glanced into these rooms agilt and dazzling, clutching my scrap of potato in my hand, and seen these wonders, I may have had thoughts of a revolution too.
But that's just me.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

in which the fish laughs

"You do look your very most splendid",
said the fish to the sea,
"I am overwhelmed to be leaving you: almost entirely, but not quite".

"Oh, but you are not leaving me", said the sea, with a whisper like fizz in the azure light of day,
you are not. I am with you always, in manner of speaking.
Perhaps not in my grasp, as I would like, but I will seize you as I wish,
if I wish, if I wish",

said the sea.

But the fish slip-silvered away,
laughing with glee
and was gone in the flick of a tail.

and a sillier fish
you never will see.

Photos: Playing, by fifi and jane Bowerbird.